By Prince Charles Dickson Ph.D
Last week the OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FEDERATION in a PRESS RELEASE stated that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the establishment of a Presidential Transition Council, for facilitating and managing the 2023 transition programme, and also signed EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 14, 2023
Members of the Committee are:
i. Secretary to the Government of the Federation – Chairman
ii. Head of the Civil Service of the Federation
iii. Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice
iv. Permanent Secretaries from the following Ministries and Offices:
c. Finance, Budget and National Planning
d. Foreign Affairs
e. Information and Culture
f. Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA)
g. Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs
h. Cabinet Affairs Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF)
i. General Services Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF)
j. Economic and Political Affairs Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF)
k. State House
v. National Security Adviser
vi. Chief of Defence Staff
vii. Inspector-General of Police
viii. Director General, National Intelligence Agency
ix. Director General, State Security Services
x. Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court of Nigeria; and
xi. Two representatives, to be nominated by the President-elect
The Transition Council will be inaugurated by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation on Tuesday 14th February, 2023 at 12 noon at the Conference Hall of the SGF. And members are expected to attend the inauguration in person.
Also, the President has signed the Executive Order No. 14 of 2023 on the Facilitation and Management of the Presidential Transitions.
A key feature of the Presidential Executive Order No. 14 of 2023 is the institutionalization of a legal framework that would enable a seamless transition of power from one Presidential Administration to another which is part of President Buhari’s legacy.
When I was growing up in the South, people often said to me, “You’re the spitting image of your dad.” I understood what they meant, but still, what’s a “spitting” image? Someone later explained that it’s slang for “spirit and image.” It refers to more than just appearance. If you’re someone’s spitting image, you have their charisma or mannerisms, the same walk or laugh or smile. That’s what people mean by spitting images — you remind them of someone.
Although I’m not 100 percent sure that’s the origin of this southern phrase, I am convinced it offers insight into what it means to Nigerian for me.
So, with the setting up with the transition committee, bearing any unforeseen Mr. Buhari will leave office in shaa Allah come May 29th 2023 and another cycle most likely will begin.
I recall seeing this, and using the same in the early days of Mr. Buhari as President, scientists have finally found out what’s wrong with the politicians’ brain. They discovered that on the right side there’s nothing left and on the left side there’s nothing right.
He said that his cabinet would be completely detached from people who are not patriotic Nigerians, who are knowledgeable and experienced…one cannot say that this has been the case. For a man that has finally come out to say that the most disturbing time of his presidency was when he was referred to as being called Jibril. I am not sure he is aware that he is still being referred to as Jibril.
The man who had ear issues and so hardly heard the many yearnings of the masses is leaving and he believes and insists that he has delivered on his promise of change.
For once in a long time, the usual disconnect between people and government in our democratic journey may be at a junction, and the operational word is ‘may’, where there is hope.
As Buhari prepares his final departure, his kitchen cabinet would also be preparing for the next step. Let me add quickly that politicians are not really so bad, it’s just that 99% of all politicians make the rest look bad. And I am sure for the next four years that will be the case for the next president of Nigeria.
Because from the onset, the song may be now we have power, what are we gonna do with it, and early permutations show that despite the hope going into the General elections, we may start with a “combination of contradictions”.
Whoever wins, someone somewhere will suggest and demand, or the party hierarchy will nominate, for whatever position, the incoming contraption is faced with a conglomerate of jobless politicians, jobbers and ex-this and that, who require settlement of one form or the other. Can they be damn?
How will we create balance with intellect, hard work and patriotism in the zoning thing that has led us nowhere and sadly one of the bane of the outgoing administration. What can thrill Nigerians is becoming hard every day.
For example, the questions to be answered will be what will the Ministry of water resources do, as many Nigerians would want to see water run from a tap courtesy of their effort. Beyond politics, doctors and health workers strike, what will the new health Minister do? Will we see another Ransome Kuti?
Apart from the Civil Defence, Immigration and SSS, really the internal or is it the interior ministry’s visible task is to announce public holidays and prison breaks. Without bias, will the new group around facilitate a collection of the best brains without recourse to godfather, mother and uncle, without recourse to politics of convenience?
With the new universities, all the somersaulting in policies, whether it should be 6-3-3-4, or 9-3-4…maybe we could do with three ministers and a special minister for universities. Whoever is there has his job cut out…
Ministers who failed as governors, governors who failed, legislators who contributed nothing and persons who lost elections and others whose father and mother were ‘former-this’ and ‘former-that’ will return.
May Nigerians be shocked, beyond talk, the next group should not have ENT problems, should not have need to spend all the time in London on health matters, should look at the positives of Mr. Buhari and build on it.
After a tightly contested election. Nigerians want Ministers, advisers, and aides, legislators that are born again. For a nation that suffers expectation fatigue, and has a very low expectation ratio, for sure we are ‘not’ asking for the impossible from the next man, considering the rot he has to contend with.
Let me end with these lines of advice to ordinary Nigerians, as Mr. Buhari prepares to leave, politicians are not really trying to solve our problems. They are trying to solve their own problems-of which getting elected and re-elected are number one and number two. Whatever is number three is far behind and—only time will tell.
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